Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and Biletnikoff Award.
Hogs run past UT Martin
Arkansas's Rashad Madden, right, and UT Martin's DeMarc Richardson chase after the ball after it got loose from Richardson during the first half of the basketball game in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville on Thursday December 19, 2013.
FAYETTEVILLE After struggling to control the pace in the two previous games, Arkansas pushed the tempo Thursday night at Bud Walton Arena.
The Razorbacks pressed and ran their way to a 102-56 win over Tennessee-Martin for their 21st straight home win. The 46-point margin of victory matched the team's largest this season.
RECORDS: Arkansas 8-2, UT Martin 5-9
LEADING SCORERS: Arkansas, Bobby Portis and Coty Clarke 15; UT Martin, Terence Smith 19
TURNING POINT: The Razorbacks used a 14-2 first half run to extend their lead to 22 points.
NOTABLE: Arkansas senior guard Mardracus Wade played for the first time in three games. Wade was scoreless in 11 minutes.
Arkansas (8-2) had big performances from its post players with Coty Clarke, Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley each finishing in double-figures scoring. Clarke and Portis each finished with 15 points and 9 rebounds, while Kingsley had career-highs with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Clarke and Portis set the tone early for the Razorbacks with Clarke hitting a shot from the elbow and Portis a 3-pointer from the top of the key in the team's first two offensive possessions. The duo also had back-to-back dunks to energize the crowd late in the first half.
Clarke bypassed his defender and went strong down the baseline for a two-handed slam, while Portis had a one-handed follow off a missed 3-pointer by Rashad Madden. The Razorbacks recorded a season-high seven dunks against the Skyhawks (5-9).
Arkansas led 49-25 at halftime and pulled away in the second half thanks in large part to its 3-point shooting. The Razorbacks hit 6 of 9 3-pointers in the second half. Seven different players hit 3-pointers during the game.
The Arkansas defense sped the Skyhawks up throughout the game forcing UT Martin into 13 turnovers which the Razorbacks turned into 21 points.
Terence Smith led the Skyhawks and all scorers with 19 points. Michael Qualls scored all 11 of his points after halftime and Madden added 11 points for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas will return to the court Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. game against South Alabama at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
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